The Congress has released its first list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The list contains 15 names, which includes four from Gujarat and eleven from the state of Uttar Pradesh. The list includes famous names from the party including those representing the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. This comes as a big announcement and clears the air about several issues concerning national politics and the state of Uttar Pradesh which is seen as crucial for the Lok Sabha poll.
- First of all, the fact that Congress has decided to field candidates from the state of Uttar Pradesh implies that Congress has snubbed the Akhilesh-Mayawati alliance in the state. Akhilesh Yadav had said, “We can give the Congress two seats in Uttar Pradesh they have always held.” Given the falling popularity of the Congress, the SP-BSP coalition obviously did not want to give the grand old party a bigger role. However, it seems that the same was unacceptable to the Congress and it has apparently snubbed the Akhilesh-Mayawati coalition. This exposes the cracks in the grand alliance and how miserably it has failed in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.
- The Nehru-Gandhi family has also taken an unprecedented risk by fielding Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi from Amethi and Rai Bareilly respectively. The BJP made a strong dent in the Gandhi bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareilly in the 2017 Assembly polls. It won in six out of the ten seats in the two districts. Therefore, Amethi and Rae Bareilly are no longer Gandhi strongholds. BJP actually enjoys a position of dominance going by the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls results. The Congress by fielding Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi from these two seats faces the risk of embarrassing losses right at the apex. The Congress cannot anyway manage a victory in the Lok Sabha polls. However, the Nehru-Gandhi family contesting and losing from seats which were once considered family strongholds would virtually mean a sudden end of the grand old party’s role in Indian politics.
- This list also implies that Sonia Gandhi would continue to play the central role in the grand old party, at least, for the time being. After Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into active politics, there were speculations that Priyanka Gandhi might contest from a seat, in the upcoming elections. However, now that Sonia Gandhi is going to contest from Rae Bareilly, it is unlikely that the Congress will field Priyanka Gandhi along with other candidates in the elections. Rae Bareilly and Amethi are considered to be safe seats by Congress. Sonia Gandhi is clearly unwilling to give her children a free run. And is going to remain active in the Congress which negates the expectations of her retirement before the upcoming polls.
- The fact that Rahul Gandhi is going to contest from Amethi also makes it clear that there will be a Smriti Irani versus Rahul Gandhi from the said constituency. It will be an interesting fight to watch out for. Irani definitely has an upper hand given the way she has worked hard in the constituency. While Rahul Gandhi who was elected by the people of Amethi has remained oblivious to the problems faced by people living in his constituency, union minister Smriti Irani who had lost from Amethi has worked hard for the upliftment of the people. Compare this with the Member of Parliament representing Amethi, Rahul Gandhi who is on a vacation most of the time. Rahul Gandhi won from the constituency at a time when the entire nation had discarded the Congress. Smriti Irani had put up a brave fight against him in the Nehru-Gandhi stronghold. However, Rahul Gandhi has remained ungrateful and has done absolutely nothing for the people of Amethi, which still remains one of the most backward constituencies in Uttar Pradesh.
- Congress has clearly lost the plot by including a leader like Imran Masood in the list of candidates. This shows that the party no longer cares about its image which has already suffered considerable damage. Masood had made highly objectionable comments about PM Modi during the 2014 Parliamentary election campaign. It is shocking that the Congress has not only retained him within the party but has also decided to field him as a candidate in the upcoming polls. At that time, Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
Get real time updates about our posts directly on your device